Planet Golf — 04 July 2017 by GW staff and news services
Spieth to skip John Deere Classic again

Jordan Spieth, a two-time winner of the John Deere Classic, announced that he will miss the tournament for the second straight year.

“I’m sorry I won’t be at this year’s John Deere Classic,” Spieth said in a statement released on Monday. “I love the tournament, I love the golf course, and, more importantly, I love the people. Clair [Peterson, the tournament director], his staff, the fans—the entire community—everyone involved makes that event such a special stop for the PGA TOUR.

“While my schedule doesn’t permit me returning to the Quad Cities this year, I plan to be back in the future.”

Spieth did not play last year’s Deere, either, as it was held opposite the Rio Olympics. As the highest-ranked player for the U.S. Olympic Team, he passed on the Olympics but said he felt it would be inappropriate to play in the Quad Cities the same week.

He was last seen in action at the Travelers Championship on June 25, when he holed out from the bunker to win a sudden-death playoff at TPC River Highlands, touching off a wild celebration with his caddie Michael Greller. It marked Spieth’s 10th Tour win as he became the only player other than Tiger Woods to reach double digits in wins before the age of 24.

To say Spieth would have been a favorite at the John Deere at TPC Deere Run, July 13-16, would be an understatement. He is 55 under par there in his three starts as a professional, finishing first (2013), T7 (2014) and first (2015). He also played there as an amateur in 2012.

At the 2013 Deere, Spieth (19 years, 11 months, 18 days old) became the youngest TOUR winner since Ralph Guldahl (19 years, 2 months, 4 days) at the 1931 Santa Monica Open.

The 2013 edition of the tournament was back in the news again recently, as Spieth’s hole-out from the bunker at the Travelers recalled his hole-out from the sand on the 72nd hole at the Deere, his first professional victory. His hole-out four years ago forced sudden death with defending champion Zach Johnson and David Hearn, and Spieth won on the fifth playoff hole.

He never looked back. The win gave him Tour membership as he made the 2013 FedExCup Playoffs and played all the way to the season-ending Tour Championship. He was named Rookie of the Year, and was a captain’s pick for the U.S. Presidents Cup team.

Two years later, Spieth did it again, his second Deere win coming on the heels of back-to-back victories at the Masters and U.S. Open, and preceding the 2015 Open Championship. Spieth finished tied for fourth at St. Andrews, one shot out of a three-way playoff.

He is expected to be in action again at this year’s Open at Royal Birkdale, July 20-23.

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